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Southwest to complete its Richmond conversion

JetBlue to add Boston flights
Southwest Airlines will complete its full conversion in the Richmond market Aug. 10 when it launches service to Atlanta, taking over the route from its AirTran subsidiary.

Southwest will serve the Richmond-Atlanta route with larger aircraft than AirTran uses. The low-cost carrier will fly 143-seat Boeing 737 jets on that route, replacing AirTran's 117-seat jets. > Read more.

Hot air balloon was carrying 2 UR women’s basketball coaches

Balloon caught fire, crashed in Caroline County
UPDATE: May 12, 6:01 P.M. – The families of Ginny Doyle and Natalie Lewis have released statements through the University of Richmond about the women who died in Friday's hot air balloon crash in Caroline County.

Statement from the family of Ginny Doyle
"We are deeply saddened by the tragic events and the loss of Ginny. Words cannot express how we feel or our remorse. Ginny was a daughter, sister, aunt, cousin, niece, athlete, teammate, coach, teacher, colleague, friend and storyteller. > Read more.

Henrico School Board approves new MS, ES laptop contracts

Both awarded to Dell, Inc.
UPDATE: MAY 8, 5:50 P.M. – The Henrico County School Board today voted unanimously to award two four-year contracts to Dell, Inc., totaling $27.2 million, for the provision of computers to elementary school and middle school students and teachers.

Both contracts – a $17.6-million deal to continue the one-to-one laptop initiative for middle-school students, and a $9.6-million deal to provide one computer for every 1.5 elementary school students, through carts and classroom sets – will begin July 1. Last year, the board awarded a new four-year contract to Dell for its high school laptop program. > Read more.

Mondelēz International to expand Nabisco plant in Varina

$40 million investment announced
UPDATE: MAY 8, 12:01 P.M. – Mondelēz Global LLC, the U.S. operating company of Mondelēz International, Inc., will invest more than $40 million to expand its biscuit bakery in Varina, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe announced today.

The facility manufactures a variety of Nabisco crackers and cookies, including Ritz, Wheat Thins and Premium crackers, Oreo and Chips Ahoy! cookies, and Nilla wafers. The expansion will enable the addition of a new, state-of-the-art manufacturing line for Ritz crackers and add 38,000 square feet to the existing bakery. > Read more.

Refugees arrived in pursuit of ‘a romantic life’


Editor’s Note: This is the third and final article in a series about Nepali-speaking Bhutanese refugees living in Henrico County.

“It was like a dream. I was very scared,” said Hem Bhattarai, one of the many Nepali-speaking Bhutanese refugees now living in Henrico County, recalling the overwhelming nature of arriving in America from a refugee camp in Nepal. “I had never traveled in a plane before, and I had never seen a country like this.”

The Bhattarai family’s arrival at Richmond International Airport was the final step of a journey that began in 1991. For all of the drama that journey contained, this last leg was an anticlimactic affair as they walked off the plane and into the malaise of an empty airport late at night. > Read more.

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Community

Hat trick for Henrico man

At the annual meeting of the Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts (VASWCD), held Dec. 4 in Roanoke, Henrico resident Donald O. “Spec” Campen (at right in photo, with grandson Kristopher Burnette) was honored with the 2012 E.C. Compton Meritorious Achievement Award. A former chairman of the Henricopolis Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) in Henrico County, Campen has been involved with the Soil and Water Conservation Districts for 34 years. He has also served as AREA III Chairman of the VASWCD, been a member of the state association’s legislative committee for 24 years, and headed committees involved with Chesapeake Bay corrective efforts. > Read more.

Weekend Top 10


Whether you’ve been naughty or nice, West End Comedy has a show for you! More laughs this weekend can be found at ComedySportz Improv Theatre and at Henrico Theatre Company’s production of “A Christmas Story.” Other ways to boost your holiday spirit – visit a forest of decorated trees at CACGA and enjoy a colonial Christmas at Henricus. Click here for more! > Read more.

Lions Club receives eyeglass donation

For his community service project in preparation for testing for his third-degree black belt, Ryan Rotondi chose to collect used eyeglasses to donate to the Lions Club. He collected 168 pairs and donated them to the Glen Allen/Short Pump Lions Club, which sponsored his efforts, at its Nov. 7 meeting.

At right, Lion Nancy Capehart, chair of the eyeglasses recycling program, presents a certificate of appreciation to Rotondi. The glasses he collected will be included with the club’s shipment to the Lions Recycling in Roanoke, where they will be refurbished and made available to medical missions in Central and South America. > Read more.

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Entertainment

Restaurant watch

Find out how your favorite dining establishments fared during their most recent inspections by the Virginia Department of Health. > Read more.

AMC television series seeks background actors

The new AMC television series “TURN” is currently being filmed in and around Richmond, and casting officials are seeking background actors to appear on screen.

“The background actors are profoundly important to the filmmaking process,” said Erica Arvold, casting director. “The show takes place during the Revolutionary War, and background actors contribute to the atmosphere of that era.” > Read more.

Scene sparkles, food falls flat

American Tap Room’s new Willow Lawn location offers breath-taking atmosphere, but average dishes
On a rare warm night in late November, the newly opened American Tap Room was, to my surprise, bright and packed with guests – many eating outside.

I didn’t have a clue what to expect from this unheard-of restaurant in an unexpected spot – right in the heart of Willow Lawn. I came to learn it’s not unheard of; it’s a restaurant chain out of Northern Virginia.

“It definitely improves the look of Willow Lawn,” said my friend, who ventured to the new spot with me on a Monday night for dinner one week after the restaurant opened. > Read more.

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Part Time Custodian/Supervisor - perform janitor work, manage Church’s cleaning staff. Flexible hrs. Exp req’d. Shady Grove United Methodist Church in Mechanicsville. http://www.shadygroveumc.org/employment.
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Calendar

The Short Pump Ruritan Club is seeking crafters for its 24th annual craft show, which will be held Saturday, Oct. 25, at Short Pump Middle School, 4701 Pouncey Tract Road.… Full text

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